If you have been following my Financial Fasting posts well here is more...
I left off at July 8th.
Here is how the past couple of days have gone:
July 9th:This was a real breaking point for us to accept why we are actually doing this fast. It really isn't about the money, but about sacrificing and learning the difference between needs and wants!
The day went fine...no real money situations...my kids are pretty used to us bringing snacks to the pool and not buying stuff anyway...BUT: the really, I mean really hard part came that evening!!! After swim team everyone was excited about the BIG city meet that night!!! I mean if you know swimming in our town...this is bigger than HOMECOMING games!!! The four local pools compete for the "city title" all the teams DRESS UP in a different secret theme. I MEAN SECRET!!! Even the team members don't always know what the theme really is, just an idea of what to dress like. So...we were told the hint: wear NEON!!! Well, we got some neon stuff around the house and we had fun gathering and dressing up in what WE HAD...we looked pretty good and all were satisfied except my poor 13 year old son, who has been having a rough time of this fasting thing anyway. (NOTE TO SELF: do not do financial fast next July during busy swim team time!) The kids knew we were not going to BUY the team shirts. That was fine... Then it happened...we walked into the pool and most...the kids were running around in their really cool swim team "costume" with the cool YELLOW NEON team shirt and all. The kids looked great! They were decked out with neon glasses, headbands, socks, shorts, drink cups...you name it if it was neon...THEY had IT!!! Now of course, these were all my 13 year olds best buddies...so he kinda...I mean REALLY stood out in the crowd with his pink shirt on. Even I, the wicked old witch felt bad for him!!! He had his own hard earned money and I had $26 in my wallet...but remember-this isn't about not having the money to do cool things. but about making a sacrifice and learning about needs and wants!!! Everyone kinda looked at me like, "those poor kids-their mom is so mean, I just want to buy them a shirt, they will be in therapy for years after this!!!' We stuck to our guns and kept thinking of "little Jose" who we were sponsoring in Bolivia and offering up our desires for many intentions.
Then we got to the meet and I had dinner in my cooler. I made "walking tacos" just like I knew the pool would be serving that night and lots of snacks...of course they were hungry later and my food didn't look half as exciting as all the good chicken/fries/candy/slushies, that all the other kids were eating! But, we made it through the night and I kept reminding myself we were learning (and teaching) discipline, self control, and character development!!! Not to mention great future stories for them to tell their kids or during a homely some day..."MY MOM WAS SO MEAN...WE WEREN'T ALLOWED TO HAVE A SHIRT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!! WE WERE THE ONLY ONES IN THE TEAM PICTURE THAT DIDN'T MATCH!"
July 10th: pretty uneventful...no spending :) I joked with my 13 year old that he should look in the lost and found for one of the shirts that everyone bought the night before...then he could finally be cool like them. My friend Amy just laughed and said I should write a book-She was nice enough to not say, "It should be titled Worlds Toughest Mother!!!" I told my boys I am gonna get a bumper sticker and shirt that says, "TOUGH MUDDER!" Get it tough mother!!! Love this idea! My college son's buddy said I should get a sticker that has a mom with a whip, instead of those nice mom stickers we see all the time!
July 11th: good news: free slurpee day!!! So we all got slurpees...no money spent!!!
It was also the FEAST of ST.BENEDICT...he had a lot of wisdom to share with me this day!!! I have had the honor of getting to 6:30 am mass lately since the swim lessons and all have messed up our regular daily mass schedule. This has been a blessed time for me for many reasons. One because I don't have all my kids distracting me, also I have been able to be there early for meditation and quiet time, and it is in the chapel where my hubby and I got married and all 13 of my children were baptized! It is also where my parents, sister, and two of my three babies in heaven are buried.
This is what I learned in my quiet time and the excellent homily from our wonderful priest:
Father said that St Benedict would be proud of us for coming each morning to early mass. That we "DON'T LIVE BASED ON WHIMS" yeah, St. Benedict understands me!!! Father said we need to learn to turn over our will to God and live balanced lives. We need to pray for those who live in CHAOS and those who lack peace!
In my quiet time God reminded me that living "out of your means" is like living a lie. Just like when we lie, the snowball effect happens and it can spin out of control...so does our spending if we don't control it. Spending can become an addiction. Some may do it to keep up with the "Jones" or because they are too embarrassed to say, "sorry we can't do this right now, we just don't have the funds." Or they may want their kids to have all the cool stuff they didn't get to have as a kid? Maybe they just don't realize how to budget or say no to the "whims?"
I am grateful to my parents for never giving into the whims!!! First of all we didn't have alot of extra. Also because they new we had to learn the difference between wants and needs! I also am very grateful for starting off marriage without any money!!! That is how it should be...I know so many new couples think they need a house and all sorts of stuff before they get married. WRONG! When you don't have extra you just have each other. You learn to depend on each other not stuff. I also learned how to be creative in my spending (or lack there of!)
Not to totally go off on the point of spending unnecessarily but many of the commandments remind me of what can happen if your spending gets out of control.
What is it that make us spin out of control?
July 12th: today!!! Chic Fli a day!!! Free meals for us all...what free fun!!!